A flight delay, a car accident, glaring locals and going up north in Tanzania


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Africa » Tanzania » North » Arusha » Arusha City
September 11th 2018
Published: September 11th 2018
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Tanzania Day 3

A flight delay, a car accident, glaring locals and going up north in Tanzania

After the theft from another room last night I don’t think we were being over cautious when we took all our valuables to breakfast this morning. I’d barricaded the doors last night as well, just in case. Claire had planned to get up for the sunset but ended up getting woken by a thunderstorm instead. I heard a bit of it but was pretty dead to the world while she managed to get up and shoot some video of some interesting sheet lightening. We didn’t get up until EIGHT am! Crazy, lazy days.
Breakfast was odd and I’m not even sure what two of the things on our plates were. There was coffee though that was drinkable so that’s good.
We then had a few hours to kill before we were picked up and normally we’d be off exploring and appeasing our Apple watches’ thirst for exercise. After last night though we were reluctant to leave our room and we can’t wander with all our gear.
So we took it in turns to wander round the grounds and take photos while the other stayed sitting outside the room watching the boats on the lake, reading or writing. Kind of, relaxing.....for over two hours....weird....
Ha ha, well that didn’t happen! After I wrote that we grabbed all our valuables and barricaded the back door with a desk and a rucksack and went for a walk. We went through the security gates....which are manned....and makes you wonder about last night’s robbery...and set off down the street. We bought drinks at a shop first from someone demonstrating what may become known as hostile customer service. No smiles, no welcome, nothing. This feeling prevailed as we walked as we were quite literally glared at.
It wasn’t inquisitive and one guy in particular who kept glancing back at us and glaring made us feel really uncomfortable. We were dressed appropriately, weren’t holding hands or anything and we were prepared with smiles for people but....ended up turning round and going back to our room. I’m not sure what we did or what we have done, unless they blame slavery on us, but reactions were very unusual. I don’t think we’ll come to Kigoma again as it has been a pretty off-putting experience over all! The people who were robbed last night had been here for 18 nights.....how.....why!?!?
We did then relax for the remaining time until our driver came to collect us and at least we’d had some exercise.
The drive to the airport was quite slow as the roads are quite bad and traffic is in no hurry. Kigoma airport is tiny but somehow you have to show four different people your passport before you get to the departure lounge. You have your temperature taken and tell someone your occupation, age and phone number. And then the internet goes down so it takes a while to check you in. And then there’s having to have everything scanned, taking off your shoes and scanning your main luggage before you can enter the airport.
We met the robbery victims at the airport and they have spent the morning at the police station. The police were called last night but apparently no-one answered. They seem to be getting things sorted though if they are managing to get on flights.
So we get to Dar es Salaam and have to pass through the international customs again. We manage to skim through as officials stop us; we already have visas. Our luggage arrives and the strap of my rucksack gets caught under the belt. This of course isn’t the first time it has happened to me but it’s the longest it has taken to get it free. The airport workers looked on and ignored me-cheers!
We then get all our luggage scanned, we follow the transit passengers sign and get all our luggage scanned, we then check in and go to the departure lounge which we can’t get into until we have had our luggage scanned....
Is this overkill when we haven’t even left the airport plus we had everything scanned at Kigoma?? Can’t wait to get to Kilimanjaro and see how many times we get scanned again!
So we had about a twenty minute delay as engineers came aboard but that’s par for the course for us. In fact twenty minutes is pretty much on time for us! The flight was fine though so well done Air Tanzania and our luggage arrived as well. It was in the second batch though so there was a bit of a nevous wait before we thankfully got to have everything scanned again before we left the airport. What do they think we have picked up in flight that it warrants scans as we leave?? Maybe we’ve grabbed a couple of zebra that had been flicked in the air by lions....or a giraffe has sneaked into the hold and into our luggage....I really have no idea. At least there was no immigration control here so we were soon through.
Our driver was waiting for us and we were soon having a car accident. What? Oh that isn’t normal...I see....anything can happen to us! Our driver parked up to go and pay the car park fee and there was a big crunch from the side as someone reversed into us. Apparently he was drunk and shouldn’t be on the road but still he overtook us at great speed later.
He apologised to us but our driver just drove off without swapping details or anything. He said there was a bit of damage but didn’t seem too bothered. We chatted along the road to Arusha and learnt a few things including why Tanganyika became Tanzania. He was also interested in what mess the Tories are making of our country and the devestation Brexit will wreak.
We entered Arusha via a dual carriageway which definitely wasn’t here when I came to what was a small town back in 1993. But then we headed off that to proper African roads as our driver called them. Heavy rains had destroyed many roads and the government is being slow in repairing them. It was quite bumpy to say the least!
I booked our accommodation via booking.com and it appears to be in the middle of nowhere. We are being picked up from here in the morning so the only worry was no shops to buy water and nowhere to get food as we’ve only had two small bags of cashews each since breakfast. Dinner was ready though! And our driver went and got us some water. Brilliant. Not sure if we’ll get charged for dinner but we were starving!

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